L'Oréal SA

07/29/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/30/2021 02:26

2021 Half-Year Results

An exceptional first-half:
+20.7% like-for-like growth

Further increase in profitability

  • Sales: 15.19 billion euros
    • +20.7% like-for-like1
    • +21.8% at constant exchange rates
    • +16.2% based on reported figures
  • Exceptional growth at +33.5% in the second quarter1
  • Market share gains in all Divisions and all geographic Zones
  • Strong acceleration in North America: +44.7%1 in the second quarter
  • E-commerce continues to post very strong growth at +29.2%2
  • Operating margin at 19.7%, an increase of 170 basis points
  • Significant increase in EPS3: +21.1% at €4.63

Commenting on these figures, Mr Nicolas Hieronimus, Chief Executive Officer of L'Oréal, said:

'With the health situation still uncertain, the beauty market is gradually recovering and has recorded double-digit growth. As a result of the determination and continued commitment of our teams, that I wish to warmly thank, L'Oréal is significantly outperforming the market, with an exceptional second quarter. By the end of June, the Group posted a very strong increase and returned to its pre‑Covid growth rate, up +6.6% like-for-like compared to the first half of 2019, with an acceleration of +8.4% in the second quarter compared to 2019.

L'Oréal recorded market share gains in all Divisions and all geographic Zones. This remarkable performance reflects the relevance and healthy balance of our multi-faceted model in terms of geographic footprint, brands and categories. The Professional Products Division has successfully transformed its business model and achieved record performance. The Consumer Products Division recorded double-digit growth in the second quarter, thanks in particular to the recovery of makeup. L'Oréal Luxe also saw a sharp rise in fragrance sales and significantly outperformed the market. The Active Cosmetics Division achieved record growth, demonstrating that its brand portfolio is perfectly adapted to consumers' health and beauty aspirations.

Our geographic Zones have now been redefined around more homogeneous consumption areas. All achieved double-digit growth. North Asia continued to perform well, still driven by mainland China where L'Oréal continues to strengthen its undisputed leadership, while North America saw a return to growth with a tremendous acceleration in the second quarter. In Europe, L'Oréal significantly outperformed the market, which is starting to recover gradually; all countries in this Zone are growing, led by the United Kingdom, France and Russia. The Group performed well in SAPMENA-SSA4 and in Latin America, with a marked progression in Brazil.

Our digital excellence has enabled brands to engage, recruit and retain consumers and partners alike. E‑commerce continues to grow, at a more moderate rate due to the reopening of retail channels, and accounts for 27.3% of sales. Benefiting from a slight recovery in international travel and the success of Hainan, Travel Retail has bounced back.

The first-half results increased sharply and are of excellent quality. They are evidence of the L'Oréal virtuous circle: a strong improvement in gross margin combined with good cost control has enabled us to invest significantly in developing our brands and deliver once again an increase in profitability.

At the same time, societal and environmental engagement remains a priority. In June, we launched the very first 'L'Oréal Groupe' global campaign, to make our consumers, shareholders and all our stakeholders aware of the actions behind our purpose: 'Create the beauty that moves the world.' We also unveiled 'L'Oréal For Youth', a global programme designed to boost youth employment by increasing the number of job opportunities for under 30s by 30%.

L'Oréal has again gained strength in the early part of the year and is well positioned to continue to grow at its pre-crisis pace, leveraging on technology, data and Artificial Intelligence to become the Beauty Tech company. In the second half of 2021, we will pursue our offensive product launch strategy while at the same time investing in relevant growth drivers to spur the future growth and the desirability of our brands. We are more confident than ever in our ability to outperform the market and achieve a year of growth in both sales and results.'

2021 Half-Year Sales

Like-for-like, i.e. based on a comparable structure and identical exchange rates, sales of the L'Oréal group grew by +20.7%.
The net impact of changes in the scope of consolidation was +1.1%.
Growth at constant exchange rates came out at +21.8%.
Currency fluctuations had a negative impact of -5.6%. If the exchange rates at 30 June 2021, i.e. €1 = $1.1871, are extrapolated until 31 December 2021, the impact of currency fluctuations on sales would be approximately -2.3% for the whole of 2021.
Based on reported figures, the Group's sales at 30 June 2021 amounted to 15.19 billion euros, i.e.an increase of +16.2%.

Sales by Division and geographic Zone

During the first half of 2021, the Group redefined its geographic Zones. At 30 June 2021, sales by geographic Zone reflect this organisation and break down as follows: Europe, North America, North Asia, SAPMENA - SSA5 and Latin America. The data relating to previous periods have been restated to reflect these changes.

2nd quarter 2021

1st half 2021









By Division

Professional Products







Consumer Products







L'Oréal Luxe







Active Cosmetics







Group total







By geographic Zone








North America







North Asia














Latin America







Group total







Summary by Division


The Professional Products Division recorded very strong growth at +41.0% like-for-like and +32.6% reported, again strengthening its leadership in a market which is gradually recovering from the health crisis.
The Division benefits from the three underlying trends in the sector: the digitalisation of salons, the development of freelance stylists, and the explosion of e-commerce. All geographic Zones saw sales growth, with record performance in the United States. The Division also confirmed its success in mainland China with very strong growth in e-commerce and in salons. It continued its growth trend in Europe, driven by Germany and France.
Haircare remains the number one category for growth, led by a particularly dynamic Kérastase, the successful launch of Curl Manifesto and the success of Genesis, as well as good performance from Metal Detox by L'Oréal Professionnel and Acidic Bonding Concentrate by Redken. In hair colour, Shades EQ by Redken recorded strong growth.


The Consumer Products Division ended the first half of the year at +6.3% like-for-like and +1.9% based on reported figures, with a rebound of +14.2% in the second quarter.
The Division outperformed the market and grew in all geographic Zones, notably in mainland China, Brazil, Indonesia and the major European countries. E-commerce continued to grow strongly and now accounts for more than 20% of sales.
The Division achieved record market share in makeup, especially in North America and Europe, thanks in particular to the highly successful launches of Sky High Mascara by Maybelline New York, Infallible powder by L'Oréal Paris and Shine Loud lipstick by NYX Professional Makeup. Haircare saw double-digit growth thanks to an extremely buoyant market in mainland China, as well as in Europe and Brazil with the success of major innovations such as Full Resist and 8 Second Wonder Water by L'Oréal Paris. Facial skincare continued to accelerate. Revitalift Filler with hyaluronic acid by L'Oréal Paris has become the world's biggest-selling serum. Mainland China's leading skincare brand L'Oréal Paris continued to gain market share with the launch of Ampoule in Cream. Garnier is successfully rolling out a new Vitamin C booster serum.


With the luxury beauty market strongly bouncing back in the first half of the year, L'Oréal Luxe posted growth at +28.1% like-for-like and +24.9% reported.
In all geographical Zones, the Division significantly outperformed the market, marked by the gradual reopening of selective distribution. L'Oréal Luxe performed very well in North Asia, particularly among Chinese consumers. It also confirmed its solidity in Europe and saw a very strong recovery in North America.
The Division gained market share in all three of its categories. First of all in skincare, thanks to its powerful global brands Lancôme and Kiehl's, a dynamic premium segment with Helena Rubinstein and the couture lines Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani, as well as the successful integration of Takami. Secondly, in the fragrances category, which is extremely dynamic in North America and mainland China, thanks to the complementarity of Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Maison Margiela, Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent and the recently acquired Mugler and Azzaro brands, which delivered very strong performance, significantly outperforming the market. And finally in makeup, the Division showed clear signs of recovery in North Asia -driven by Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent and Shu Uemura- as well as in the United States thanks to Lancôme and Urban Decay, which again won market share.


In a significantly improving market, the Active Cosmetics Division recorded particularly strong growth in the first half of the year, at +37.5% like-for-like and +32.0% based on reported figures.
The Division continued to record very strong growth, with its skincare brand portfolio perfectly adapted to consumers' health-related aspirations, which increased further during the pandemic. It also continued to leverage the solid relationships developed with healthcare professionals and its digital and e‑commerce expertise.
All major brands recorded strong growth. CeraVe doubled in size while La Roche-Posay continued to accelerate, supported by the excellent performance of Effaclar and Cicaplast. SkinCeuticals continued to grow rapidly, driven by the innovation Silymarin CF. Vichy recovered and posted double-digit growth.
The Division saw very strong growth in all geographical Zones, outperforming the market with exceptional performance in the United States, mainland China and the United Kingdom. Thanks to a targeted omnichannel activation strategy, e-commerce sales remained extremely buoyant while in-store sales posted strong double-digit growth.

Summary by geographic Zone

During the first half of 2021, the Group redefined its geographic Zones. At 30 June 2021, sales by geographic Zone reflect this organisation and break down as follows: Europe, North America, North Asia, SAPMENA - SSA6 and Latin America.


The new Europe Zone, which brings together Western Europe and Eastern Europe, is the largest of the Group in terms of sales. It grew by +11.9% like-for-like and +11.6% based on reported figures. At the end of June, all countries reported growth and L'Oréal strengthened its leadership in Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and the Scandinavian countries.
In the second quarter, sales are close to pre-crisis levels, with the exception of Travel Retail, which is still badly affected by the health situation and the restrictions on international travel. E-commerce saw very strong growth.
The Consumer Products Division gained market share, especially in makeup and haircare; Maybelline New York strengthened its leadership in the makeup category. L'Oréal Luxe continued to gain market share, especially in fragrances. The Active Cosmetics Division considerably increased its market share, driven by the dynamism of La Roche-Posay, which confirmed its position as Europe's No.1 dermocosmetics brand, and the rapid development of CeraVe. Finally, the Professional Products Division recorded significant growth despite the closure of salons in several countries in the first quarter, thanks to the buoyancy of e-commerce sales.


The Zone posted strong growth, at +23.2% like-for-like and +13.8% based on reported figures.
In the United States, the Group accelerated strongly in the second quarter despite temporary sourcing pressures, with a marked recovery in makeup while sales of skincare and fragrances are far above 2019 levels. In-store sales picked up and e-commerce more than doubled in two years.
All Divisions achieved market share gains in the second quarter. The Consumer Products Division accelerated, driven by the launch of Sky High Mascara by Maybelline New York and the confirmed recovery of NYX Professional Makeup. L'Oréal Luxe benefited from the recovery of in-store sales and the explosion of the fragrances category. Driven by the power of the SalonCentric distribution channel, the Professional Products Division recorded excellent performance and gained market share in haircare and hair colour. Finally, sales for the Active Cosmetics Division, driven by the remarkable performance of CeraVe and the acceleration of La Roche-Posay, close to doubled compared with the first half of 2019.


The Zone saw strong growth at +27.3% like-for-like and +23.2% reported.
Chinese consumer demand for the big brands remained high, particularly for luxury beauty. The Group consolidated its leadership in mainland China, still a major contributor to L'Oréal's overall performance, with an increase of +34.2%. Confirming the recovery which began in the second quarter of 2020, L'Oréal China gained market share in all Divisions and all categories. Online sales continued to grow strongly, driven by the arrival of new online retailers. During the important online shopping festival on 18 June, L'Oréal Paris established itself as the leading beauty brand on Tmall and JD, with Lancôme also in the top 3.
Japan and South Korea were both affected by the resurgence of Covid-19 and posted moderate performance in the first half of the year. Travel Retail continued to grow in the second quarter, particularly in Hainan. E-commerce recorded strong growth in the Zone and in-store sales recovered at different rates from one country to another.
L'Oréal Luxe accelerated strongly in online sales and gained market share. Its growth was driven by skincare, with Absolue by Lancôme and Helena Rubinstein in particular, and by the strong recovery of makeup. The Consumer Products Division gained market share in haircare while the Active Cosmetics Division saw its growth accelerate, driven by La Roche-Posay. The Professional Products Division posted record growth, thanks in particular to Kérastase and L'Oréal Professionnel.


The Zone grew by +19.9% like-for-like and +13.3% based on reported figures. The Pacific and Gulf states started to recover while in India the Covid-19 pandemic continued to affect sales in the second quarter. In South-East Asia, many countries including Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia have been subject to heavy public health restrictions. Vietnam has maintained strong growth.
The growth of the SAPMENA Zone was driven by the Consumer Products Division, with good momentum from Garnier and Maybelline New York, by L'Oréal Luxe in fragrances and skincare, as well as by the Active Cosmetics Division with La Roche-Posay. The expansion of e-commerce, which is seeing marked growth in Southern Asia and India, fuelled growth in all Divisions.
In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), growth was driven by South Africa, which posted strong double-digit growth.


The Zone recorded strong growth of +32.8% like-for-like and +22.7% based on reported figures. The recovery of the beauty market has accelerated in recent months with the gradual easing of lockdown measures and the lifting of restrictions on movement in all countries. Despite a complicated public health situation, Brazil was a strong contributor to growth and significantly outperformed the market, driven by the Consumer Products and Active Cosmetics Divisions.
With Brazil, Mexico and Chile leading the way, all countries and all Divisions recorded double-digit growth. All categories saw strong growth thanks to the quality of innovations and the success of the Group's iconic brands and products, particularly in haircare and skincare. With the reopening of distribution channels, particularly department stores and hair salons, in-store sales saw a return to growth, while e‑commerce sales almost doubled compared to the first half of 2020.

Important events during the period 1/4/21 to 30/6/21 and post-closing events

  • On 20 April, L'Oréal held its Annual General Meeting behind closed doors. All resolutions were approved, including:
    • Payment of a dividend of €4 per share;
    • Appointments as directors of Mr Nicolas Hieronimus and Mr Alexandre Ricard, as well as renewal of the tenures as directors of Ms Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, Mr Paul Bulcke and Ms Virginie Morgon.
  • On 20 April, the L'Oréal Board of Directors decided:
    • The dissociation of the functions of Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. Mr Jean-Paul Agon will continue to fulfil the role of Chairman as he has done since 2011 and Mr Nicolas Hieronimus was appointed Chief Executive Officer as of 1 May 2021;
    • On the basis of the authorisation approved by the Annual General Meeting of 20 April 2021, to buy back L'Oréal shares for a maximum amount of 1.2 billion euros and a maximum of 3 million shares, in a period starting 3 May 2021 and ending 30 June 2021, in a view to cancelling them. 3,000,000 shares were bought back from 3 May to18 June 2021.
  • On 22 April, L'Oréal announced the appointment of Asmita Dubey as Chief Digital Officer, a member of the Executive Committee, to drive the second phase of the Group's digital transformation.
  • On 23 June, L'Oréal announced the creation of the Europe Zone, led by Vianney Derville, previously President of the Western Europe Zone.
  • On 29 July, the Board of Directors has decided to cancel 3,000,000 shares bought back, effective on 30 July 2021, pursuant the share buyback programme decided on 20 April 2021.

2021 Half-Year Results

The limited review procedures of the half-year consolidated accounts have been completed. The limited review report is being prepared by the Statutory Auditors.

Operating profitability at 19.7% of sales

Consolidated profit and loss account: from sales to operating profit.

In € million


As % of sales


As % of sales


As % of sales


H1-2021 vs. H1-2020









Cost of sales







Gross profit








R&I expenses







Advertising and promotion expenses







Selling, general and administrative expenses







Operating profit








Gross profit, at 11,327 million euros, came out at 74.5% of sales, an increase of 140 basis points compared to the first half of 2020.

Research and Innovation expenses,at 489 million euros, came out at 3.2% of sales.

Advertising and promotion expenses came out at 32.6% of sales, an increase of 210 basis points.

Selling, general and administrative expenses, at 19.1% of sales, decreased by 200 basis points compared to the first half of 2020.

Overall, operating profit came out at 2,988 million euros, an increase of 170 basis points compared to the 2020 first half, at 19.7% of sales.

Operating profit by Division





% of sales


% of sales


% of sales

By Division

Professional Products







Consumer Products







L'Oréal Luxe







Active Cosmetics







Total Divisions

before non-allocated





















The L'Oréal group is managed on an annual basis. This means that half-year operating profits cannot be extrapolated for the whole year.

The profitability of the Professional Products Division went from 10.4% to 20.5%.

The profitability of the Consumer Products Division increased at 20.0% compared to the first half of 2020 at 21.3% of sales.

L'Oréal Luxe improved by 340 basis points at 23.8%.

The profitability of the Active Cosmetics Division slightly decreased by 10 basis points, still at a very high level at 28.8%.

Net profit excluding non-recurring items

Consolidated profit and loss account: from operating profit to net profit excluding non-recurring items.

In € million





H1-2021 vs. H1-2020

Operating profit



2 988.1


Financial revenues and expenses




Sanofi dividends




Profit before tax and associates
excluding non-recurring items




Income tax excluding non-recurring items




Net profit excluding non-recurring items
of equity consolidated companies




Non-controlling interests




Net profit excluding non-recurring items,
after non-controlling interests9





EPS10 (€)





Diluted average number of shares




Overall financial expenses came out at29.4 million euros.

Sanofi dividends amounted to 378.3 million euros.

Income tax excluding non-recurring items came out at 731.9 million euros, i.e. a tax rate of 21.9%, higher than the first half of 2020.

Net profit excluding non-recurring items after non-controlling interests came out at 2,600 million euros.

Earnings per share, at 4.63 euros, increased by +21.1% compared with the first half of 2020.

Net profit

Consolidated profit and loss account: from net profit excluding non-recurring items to net profit.

In € million




Net profit excluding non-recurring items,

after non-controlling interests 9




Non-recurring items




of which:

  • other income and expenses







Net profit after non-controlling interests




Non-recurring items amounted to 237.4 million euros net of tax of which 315.3 million euros of other income and expenses. They mainly include an impairment charge on the goodwill of It Cosmetics for 250 million euros.

Operating cash flow and balance sheet

Gross cash flow amounted to 3,336.1 million euros an increase of 25.0%.

The change in working capital amounted to 675.1 million euros.

Investments at 523.1 million euros represented 3.4% of sales.

Operating cash flow11 amounted to 2,137.9 million euros, an increase of 67.7%.

At 30 June 2021, after taking into account finance lease liabilities for 1,579 million euros, net cash amounted to 2,372.8 million euros.

'This news release does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy L'Oréal shares. If you wish to obtain more comprehensive information about L'Oréal, please refer to the public documents registered in France with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, also available in English on our Internet site www.loreal-finance.com.

This news release may contain some forward-looking statements. Although the Company considers that these statements are based on reasonable hypotheses at the date of publication of this release, they are by their nature subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated or projected in these statements.'

This is a free translation into English of the 2021 Half-Year Results news release issued in the French language and is provided solely for the convenience of English-speaking readers. In case of discrepancy, the French version prevails.


Individual shareholders and market authorities
Mr Christian MUNICH
Tel.: +33 1 47 56 72 06
[email protected]

Financial analysts and Institutional investors
Ms Françoise LAUVIN
Tel: +33 1 47 56 86 82
[email protected]

Ms Polina HUARD
+33 (0)1 47 56 87 88
[email protected]

Switchboard: +33 1 47 56 70 00

For more information, please contact your bank, broker or financial institution (I.S.I.N. code: FR0000120321), and consult your usual newspapers, the Internet site for shareholders and investors www.loreal-finance.com or the L'Oréal Finance app, alternatively, call +33 1 40 14 80 50.


Appendix 1: L'Oréal group sales 2020/2021 (€ million)



First quarter



Second quarter



First half total



Third quarter


Nine months total


Fourth quarter


Full year total


Appendices 2 to 6 are available in the full PDF version of the news release which can be downloaded below.